No matter where you sit in relation to this table topper, a happy snowman will be smiling at you.
Snowman Quartet
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Designer: Gail Pan of Gail Pan Designs

Finished quilt: 26-1/2" square

Finished block: 6" square


Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

  • 18×21" piece (fat quarter) white tone-on-tone (embroidery background)
  • 3/4 yard total assorted red prints (blocks, middle border)
  • 1/3 yard dark red print (inner and outer borders)
  • 1/3 yard red diagonal stripe (binding; If you don't have a diagonal stripe, cut a regular stripe on the bias for the same effect.)
  • 1 yard backing fabric
  • 33" square batting
  • Embroidery floss: variegated red (DMC 115)
  • Perle cotton No. 8 for hand quilting: ecru
  • Fine-line permanent marker: red (or other marking tool of your choice)
  • Lightweight fusible interfacing (optional)

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

If you'd rather embroider on one large piece of background fabric (to make it easier to use a hoop), don't cut out the white tone-on-tone rectangles and squares. Instead, trace the dimensions of the squares and rectangles onto the fat quarter, stitch the designs, then cut out the squares and rectangles.

From white tone-on-tone, cut:

  • 4—5×7" rectangles
  • 4—3" squares
  • 2—1-1/2×2" rectangles

From assorted red prints, cut:

  • 8—1-1/2×6-1/2" strips
  • 85—2-1/2" squares

From dark red print, cut:

  • 2—1-1/2 ×26-1/2" outer border strips
  • 2—1-1/2 ×24-1/2" outer border strips
  • 2—1-1/2 ×20-1/2" inner border strips
  • 2—1-1/2 ×18-1/2" inner border strips

From red diagonal stripe, cut:

  • 3—2-1/2 ×42" binding strips

Embroider Snowmen and Snowflakes

Click on "Download this Project" above for the Snowman and Snowflake Embroidery patterns.

Use two strands of variegated red floss for all the embroidery stitches.

1. Tape Snowman Embroidery Pattern to a light box or sunny window. Center a white tone-on-tone 5×7" rectangle atop pattern; tape in place. Using fine-line red permanent marker or other marking tool, trace snowman and stars onto fabric rectangle. Remove fabric rectangle from light box. Repeat to trace a snowman on each white tone-on-tone 5×7" rectangle.

2. Repeat Step 1 to trace Snowflake Embroidery Pattern onto each white tone-on-tone 3" square.

3. If desired, help prevent red stitches from showing through by fusing lightweight fusible interfacing to the backs of the traced pieces. To do this, cut a square or rectangle of interfacing slightly smaller than each traced piece and follow manufacturer's instructions to fuse it in place.

4. Use a backstitch to stitch snowman outline, stick arms, mouth, and large stars. To backstitch, pull threaded needle up at A. Insert it back into fabric at B, about 1⁄4" away from A (Backstitch Diagram). Holding floss out of the way, bring needle back up at C and pull floss through so it lies flat against fabric. Continue in same manner, pulling with equal tautness after each stitch.

5. Referring to photo, use closely spaced rows of backstitches to stitch scarf stripes. Outline the scarf with a backstitch.

Snowman Quartet

6. Use a satin stitch to make the snowman nose. To satin-stitch, pull needle up at A, then insert it back into fabric at B (Satin Stitch Diagram). Holding thread out of the way, bring needle back up at C, then insert it back into fabric at D; the CD stitch should lie against AB stitch. Continue in same manner, adjusting stitch lengths as needed to cover the desired area from edge to edge.

Snowman Quartet

7. Use one French knot for each eye and four closely spaced French knots for the snowman buttons. To make a French knot, pull threaded needle through at A, the point where knot is desired (French Knot Diagram). Wrap floss around needle two or three times. Insert tip of needle into fabric at B, 1⁄16" away from A. Gently push wraps down needle to meet fabric. Pull needle and trailing floss through fabric slowly and smoothly.

Snowman Quartet

8. Cross-stitch four Xs at the bottom of the snowman. To cross-stitch, pull needle up at A, insert it back into fabric at B and bring it up at C, then push needle down again at D (Cross-Stitch Diagram).

Snowman Quartet

9. Referring to photo, use a straight stitch to add fringe to the scarf and the small stars in the background to make an embroidered snowman rectangle.

Snowman Quartet

10. Repeat steps 4–9 to make four embroidered snowman rectangles total.

11. Using a backstitch and the traced white tone-on-tone 3" squares, make four embroidered snowflake squares.

12. Press and trim embroidered snowman rectangles to 4-1/2 ×6-1/2". Press and trim embroidered snowflake squares to 2-1/2" square.

Assemble Blocks

Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Press seams in directions indicated by arrows on diagrams. If no direction is specified, press seam toward darker fabric.

1. Referring to Diagram 1, sew together nine assorted red print 2-1/2" squares in three rows. Join rows to make a Nine-Patch block. The block should be 6-1/2" square including seam allowances.

Snowman Quartet

2. Using eight assorted red print squares and one embroidered snowflake 2-1/2" square, repeat Step 1 to make a snowflake Nine-Patch block (Diagram 2).

Snowman Quartet

3. Repeat Step 2 to make four snowflake Nine-Patch blocks total.

4. Sew assorted red print 1-1/2 ×6-1/2" strips to long edges of an embroidered snowman rectangle to make a snowman block (Diagram 3). Repeat to make four snowman blocks total.

Snowman Quartet

Assemble Quilt Top

1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out all blocks in three rows; note rotation of snowman blocks.

Snowman Quartet

2. Sew together blocks in each row. Press seams toward Nine-Patch blocks. Join rows to make quilt center. Press seams in one direction. The quilt center should be 18-1/2" square including seam allowances.

3. Sew dark red print 1-1/2 ×18-1/2" inner border strips to opposite edges of quilt center. Add dark red print 1-1/2 ×20-1/2" inner border strips to remaining edges. Press all seams toward border.

4. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, sew together 10 assorted red print 2-1/2" squares to make a short middle border strip. Press seams in one direction. The strip should be 2-1/2 ×20-1/2" including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second short middle border strip. Add short middle border strips to opposite edges of quilt center. Press seams toward inner border.

5. Using 12 assorted red print 2-1/2" squares for each strip, repeat Step 4 to make two long middle border strips. Each long middle border strip should be 2-1/2 ×24-1/2" including seam allowances. Add long middle border strips to remaining edges.

6. Sew dark red print 1-1/2 ×24-1/2" outer border strips to opposite edges of quilt center. Add dark red print 1-1/2 ×26-1/2" outer border strips to remaining edges to complete quilt top. Press all seams toward outer border.

Finish Quilt

1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste.

2. Quilt as desired. In each Nine-Patch block and in the middle border, designer Gail Pan used ecru perle cotton No. 8 to hand-quilt 1/4" from the inside and outside edges of the squares formed by the ring of the red print squares (Quilting Diagram). She stitched a wavy line through the center of the red print strips on either side of the embroidered snowmen and through the inner and outer borders.

Snowman Quartet

3. Bind with red diagonal stripe binding strips.

Snowman Quartet